Thursday, September 01, 2011

18 Pounds of Italian Plums

Italian Plums are oval
Italian Plums are my favorite fruit for making deep, dark, and dense plum jam, and an unfailingly elegant, foolproof, and uncommonly delicious Plum Torte.  I bought 18 pounds this morning, and I will certainly go back for more.  Why?

Dark Red Plum Jam
PLUM JAM  I owe this affection to the late and very-much-lamented Laurie Colwin, from whom I learned to make jam by following her instructions it in the “Jam Anxiety” chapter in More Home Cooking.  She wrote “Jam making is actually, a snap, and also very liberating, since once you know how, you realize it is not the project of an entire day or week (jelly making is quite another matter) but half an evening’s pleasant and rewarding effort."

That sentence was a gift and inspiration to me.I made my first batch of Plum Jam right after September 11, 2001, and jam-making became my outlet. When the going was tough, I made jam. There were perhaps two entire years when I had 6 dozen jam jars in the trunk of my car, and imagined that everyone else did, too.

I am not alone in having been inspired by her essay. Greg Atkinson blogged nicely about her recipe in 2008, and a Google search of “Laurie Colwin’s Plum Jam” nets 3,300 results.

I have already blogged about Marian Burros Plum Torte, which was the New York Times’ most requested recipe for years. It freezes well and when baked off in February perfumes your house with the sweet smells of summer. I have made it with beets, pears, peaches, apples, and a variety of plums, but the Italian Plums are the best.

Find the Plum Torte and so much more in the The Best of DeGustibus

No comments: